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Hanging Lake Trail and Glenwood Springs, Colorado

Looking to be transported to another world just by traveling to the Southern Rocky Mountains in Colorado? Put on your hiking boots and grab your friends and kids and head to Hanging Lake Trail near Glenwood Springs!

Why you Have to Visit! 

Hanging Lake
Source: Patrick Alexander/Flickr

Classified as a National Natural Landmark, Hanging Lake was formed by a geologic fault, creating a shelf between the lakebed and the valley below.

The hike up to the lake is extremely scenic, with waterfalls and bridges all the way up. There is no need to rush this adventure-the changes in altitude may slow you down, but that’s okay!

The trail and lake are not dog friendly, so leave your furry friends behind. Hikers also need to plan ahead before visiting- from May 1st to October 31st, there is a $12 permit per hiker required.

People who want to bike from Glenwood Canyon to the trailhead must purchase a $12 biking permit if visiting during the same timeframe as well. Be prepared if you plan on going in the winter months, the icy conditions on the trail and in the parking area may not always be safe.

Getting to the Trail 

Source: Cliff Williams/Flickr

Off of I-70, you can leave your car at the Hanging Lake Welcome Center in Glenwood Springs to take the shuttle to the trail; the shuttle is on a 3-hour return schedule, but hikers can stay longer and be on standby if they can’t get enough of the hike.

There are two parking lots at the Welcome Center. If they completely fill up, hikers will have to try again later. It is illegal to pull over and wait on the I-70 ramp. The Welcome Center also has plenty of bathrooms and some shaded picnic tables.

What to Expect on Your Hike

Hanging Lake trail
Source: Sayamindu Dasgupta/Flickr

It is about a mile from the trailhead until you get to the lake. Increasing in elevation by 1,000, this trail can be steep and rocky, so make sure you’re wearing comfortable hiking shoes as you climb the switchbacks.

Once at the lake, make sure you stay on the boardwalk and be sure to not disturb the ecosystem that calls the lake home. After walking the boardwalk, walk a little bit further to Spouting Rock, a breathtaking waterfall nearby.

Visiting Glenwood Springs

The Welcome Center is about 2.5 hours from Denver. Why rush back after your hike when you can take in Glenwood Springs?

Relax after your hike at one of Glenwood Springs public mineral hot baths, some dating back to the late 19th century! If you still feel energized and want to explore more, drive through Glenwood Canyon and be in awe of the cliffs towering 1,300 feet above the Colorado River.

If you and your kids want some thrills, the Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park is perfect for you! With gondola rides, cave tours, and a swing that goes over the mountain’s edge, no one will leave upset.

Glenwood Springs has many hotel accommodations that will fit into any budget. Many offer complimentary breakfasts, free wi-fi, and all of them offer spectacular mountain views. And while you’re enjoying your stay in town, be sure to check out all of the restaurant options along the Colorado River. From pubs to grills, BBQ joints to cafes, even the pickiest of eaters will find something to enjoy!

Looking more ideas for your next trip to Colorado? Click here

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